VernNatVar_AtProject reference: 220799
Funded under :
Molecular analysis of the natural variation in vernalization response of Arabidopsis accessions
Total cost:EUR 168 256,91
EU contribution:EUR 168 256,91
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):PEOPLE-2007-2-1.IEF - Marie Curie Action: "Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2007-2-1-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
The model plant A. thaliana shows a wide range of genetic and phenotypic variation among natural accessions. Notably, adaptation of flowering time to specific environmental conditions is essential for reproductive success. This proposal will use our knowledge of the molecular basis of vernalization to uncover how Arabidopsis thaliana accessions have adapted to their environment. Analysis of flowering time and vernalization in Arabidopsis accessions provides a unique opportunity to link mechanistic understanding of a complex trait with an understanding of the fitness consequences of different alleles and their distribution within the population. The specific aims of this project will be 1) to fully define the molecular variation at FLC and linked genes underpinning the natural variation in accessions selected to represent a wide range of vernalization responses and 2) use the different accessions as a pool of “natural mutants” to gain a better understanding of the basis of FLC regulation during vernalization. We will first confirm that FLC cis-elements are involved in this variation by a complementation analysis, followed by mix and match experiments to determine which region contains the cis-regulatory elements that account for the variation. We will also analyse the epigenetic changes at the FLC locus which result from the polymorphisms in the cis-elements, as well as the role of other chromosome 5 candidates identified in a QTL analysis for the variation in vernalization response. In parallel, we will characterize important cis-elements in FLC required to initiate and maintain FLC repression during and after vernalization. We will then pick natural variants with polymorphisms in these cis-elements. Dissecting the molecular basis of adaptation is a major goal in evolutionary genetics and the results from this study are likely to provide important insights into adaptation relevant to many biological systems.
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